The head of the World Customs Organization (WCO) said Indonesia’s customs reform journey and its positive transformative effect in the country ought to be shared with the international customs community.
During his July 25-26 visit to Jakarta, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya met with Indonesia’s customs director general Heru Pambudi and his management team to review the country’s customs modernization process and support its willingness to share its experience through capacity building assistance for the region.
Mikuriya also visited the Customs Training Centre and the Customs Laboratory to discuss their future plans for making a contribution to the region.
Meanwhile, private sector representatives expressed their appreciation for customs reform which they acknowledge will lead to greater transparency and integrity. They also sought the WCO’s guidance on e-commerce, including data standardization, and on the ASEAN Single Window concept, particularly on the electronic exchange of origin certificates.
During his visit, Mikuriya also stressed the progress made in customs human resource management, including the importance of integrity, and its growing contribution to the regional and global customs community. Discussions also centered on e-commerce, disruptive technologies and illicit trade, as well as WCO initiatives, including the technology conference to be held next year in Bali.
Mikuriya also visited Dato Lim Jock Hoy, secretary general of the ASEAN, at the ASEAN headquarters in Jakarta, and they reflected on progress with the ASEAN Single Window platform and on new challenges brought about by e-commerce. They also discussed assistance for Timor-Leste in view of its future accession to ASEAN.
Earlier, on July 11, 2019, during Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati’s visit to the WCO headquarters. Mikuriya explained that the Indonesian customs reform journey ought to be shared with the international customs community.
He highlighted in particular the emphasis placed on enhancing integrity and improving the working conditions of customs officers, which had led to a positive transformation of the administration.
The Secretary General also mentioned that Indonesian customs had embarked on important modernization projects aimed at enhancing trade facilitation and border security.
For her part, Sri Mulyani underscored the challenges associated with border enforcement, especially with regard to drug trafficking, money laundering, and bulk cash smuggling. She emphasized the need for enhanced information exchange leading to more effective enforcement, including in the passenger control arena.
Other areas of concern raised included environmental crime, and notably illegal trade in timber and waste trafficking. These areas required enhanced coordinated border management and joint operational activities.
Finally, Mikuriya stressed that political support was essential to ensure that customs had the necessary resources to effectively fulfill its ambitious mandate. In response, Sri Mulyani acknowledged the increasingly important role played by customs as the first line of defense and vowed to raise the profile of WCO activities in several important international fora, including the G20.
Photo courtesy of WCO